Because, really, you’re not adding anything of value to the debate.
Even though Election Day 2010 is still over a year away, MoveOn.org Political Action is running ads targeting Dave Reichert (WA-08) and his “No” vote on H.R. 3200 in the Ways and Means Committee.
Congressman Reichert responded with the following statement.
Now is the time to come together and debate meaningful solutions to lower health care costs, improve quality, and preserve Americans’ choice of care, not to derail this vital process with shameful, partisan politics. Moveon.org can tell anyone they want that I voted against a $1.1 trillion government take-over of health care that would increase the cost of care, impose new penalty taxes on small businesses, and prevent Americans from keeping the care they have if they like it. That vote was in the best interests of my constituents and the American people, I stand by it, and I will continue to fight for common-sense reforms that incorporate the best ideas from both sides of the aisle.
What I won’t stand for is a divisive political attack that questions my integrity and prevents us from achieving the reforms American families need. This ad is completely dishonest and does a disservice to my constituents. It is yet another roadblock on the path to real reform.
In case you haven’t seen the ad, it’s rather dramatic and asserts that Congressman Reichert’s vote was purchased with $105,958 of campaign contributions from “health and insurance interests” and, quite possibly, the very lives of your children.
Actually, there’s not much new there. It’s basically just the same old-same old from the left. If you’re not “For” the 1,000 page monster, you’re “Against” lower costs and quality care and you probably don’t care if poor people die as long as you get your blood money, you Judas, so why don’t you just go kill yourself in a field somewhere and rid the earth of the miserable scourge that is you.
The only thing even remotely interesting in the ad is the implication that evil “special interests” are pulling Reichert’s strings because of the vast sums of money they’ve contributed to his coffers. If that’s the case, one has to wonder why they weren’t pulling the strings of everyone else on the Committee because, yes, every single member of the Ways and Means Committee accepted campaign contributions from “health and insurance interests.”
In fact, when you look at contributions from health and insurance sources as a percentage of total contributions, Reichert comes in tied for dead last with 5%. Evil bastard.
I think it’s much more interesting to note that Pete Stark (D) of California received 49% of his contributions from “health and insurance interests.” It’s also pretty interesting that, overall, the Democrats received a higher percentage of their funding from those interests than Republicans.
Which is to say that MoveOn’s ad isn’t motivated by some high moral purpose, it’s just politics as usual. Reichert wasn’t targeted because he took an unusually large sum of money from relevant industries, he was targeted because he’s a Republican in an increasingly moderate district whom they perceive as being vulnerable in 2010.
In order for MoveOn’s argument to hold water, you’d have to believe that Democrats such as tax cheat, Charlie Rangel, are somehow morally superior to Dave Reichert or that the same industries that influenced Reichert to vote against H.R. 3200, somehow, miraculously, influenced 26 Democrats to vote for it.
I’m not buying it.
Disclaimer: I was not able to determine, in the time available to me, how MoveOn arrived at the $105,958 figure…I’m sure it somehow involved a swarm of lackeys and a database. Since I have neither lackeys nor database, I turned to OpenSecrets. Unfortunately, the good folks at OpenSecrets had no idea, when they were compiling their data, that I was going to write this blog post, meaning I wasn’t able to find the exact data I was looking for. For example, OpenSecrets data lists contributions from the insurance industry, but doesn’t break that data down by types of insurance so please keep in mind that I was working insurance figures that included all types of insurance. Additionally, I excluded contributions for the 2009 election cycle.
You can view my data by clicking the image below.